Khamis, September 30, 2010

Aduhai manusia: Ketamakkan dan tipu daya!



Salam. :)

Seharusnya posting ni ditulis semalam, tapi karena sedikit kesibukan, hari ini baru saya berpeluang menulis.

Kenapa semalam? Sebab semalam saya pergi ke sebuah bengkel milik bangsa saya. Melayu. Dalam hal memberi barang atau servis (seperti membaiki kereta atau motor) -- saya memang agak 'rasis'.

Rasis? Ya. Rasis.

Sebabnya? Saya akan mengutamakan kedai atau bengkel milik orang Melayu, meskipun kedai atau bengkel itu jauh dan agak mahal.

Ini berlandaskan pesan kepada pesan ustaz saya (mantan ahli Arqam), "Ustaz dulu pernah buat silap bila join Arqam," katanya. "Tapi silapnya Arqam ni hanyasanya pada ketaksuban dia pada Abuya (kini Allahyarham), tapi ekonomi depa (mereka) memang mantap."

"Macam mana ekonomi Arqam boleh mantap ye, Ustaz?" Tanya saya.

"Orang Arqam ni depa ikut style orang Cina berniaga. Sokong sama sokong," kata Ustaz tu lagi. "Maknanya, kalau beli barang, selagi barang tu ada dijual oleh ahli Arqam, orang Arqam akan beli walaupun harganya mahal sikit."

"Sebab tu kita kena tolong orang Melayu kita. Selagimana barang hat (yang) kita nak beli ada dijual kat kedai Melayu, kita pakat beli. Kita sokong bangsa kita untuk maju."

Terkenang kajian yang pernah dibuat oleh Akhbar The Star, bahawa 20% daripada kalangan pembeli akhbar-akhbar Cina seperti Nan Yang Siang Pao dan Sin Chew Daily sebenarnya tidak tahu membaca aksara atau kurang fasih dalam bahasa yang digunakan dalam akhbar-akhbar tersebut. Maknanya, mereka sekedar membeli atas dasar bagi menyokong akhbar-akhbar tersebut. Semangat yang mulia, yang seharusnya kita telusuri.

Saya sejelasnya sangat terkesan dengan pesanan ustaz saya itu. Dan karena berpegang kepada pesan tersebut jugalah, saya pergi ke bengkel seorang anak muda Melayu di Puchong untuk menukar karburator dan spark plug motor cabuk kesayangan saya.

Baik, saya namakan pemilik bengkel tersebut sebagai "Brader". Brader ni dengan sombong tak melayan saya yang dah memberi salam dan berdiri di sebelah dia.

Saya redhakan hati, dengan bersangka baik bahawa mungkin anginnya kurang baik atau sedang fokus membaiki motosikal pelanggannya yang tiba lebih awal dari saya.

Saya tunggu dan tunggu.

Lebih kurang 5 minit, dia pandang saya sambil membetulkan letak duduk rokok di bibirnya dan bertanya, "Apa rosak?"

"Bang, nak tanya la -- harga karburator original berapa ye?"

Dipendekkan cerita, Brader tu endah tak endah, dengan selamba main sebut harga alat ganti motor Lagenda 110 -- clutch plate, karburator, spark plug, disc brake -- berdasarkan pengamatan saya, semuanya adalah harga untuk alat ganti yang original.

Kemudian, saya minta untuk tengok karburator yang dikatakannya itu. Saya belek-belek, rupa-rupanya karburator buatan negara China.

"Kenapa harga dia sama macam original, bang?"

"Biasalah, sekarang harga barang semua mahal. Kalau abang nak cari murah, abang cari workshop lain la senang cerita."

Saya gosok dahi bila dengar ayat itu. Panas jugak hati dibuatnya.

Niat saya untuk menukar karbutator motor telah terbantut. Jadi, saya redhakan hati sekali lagi, dan minta untuk beliau menukar spark plug sahaja.

"Bagi yang jenis NGK ye, bang?" Kata saya terang, tanpa niat untuk menyindir.

Beliau gantikan spark plug saya yang lama dengan satu spark plug yang baru diambil dari bekasnya.

Tiba-tiba, hati saya jadi tak sedap. "Bang, boleh tengok tak spark plug yang abang nak pasang tu, tak?"

Brader tu buat 'muka ketat' sambil hulur spark plug tersebut kepada saya.

"Eh, ni bukan spark plug NGK bang? Ni skuter punya, kan?"

"Alah, lebih kurang la tu...."

"Mana boleh, bang. Saya minta NGK tadi," saya cuba berdiplomasi dengan sehormat mungkin.

Brader tu terus ambil spark plug NGK yang baru. Saya nampak mukanya seperti menahan marah. Selesai pasang, dia minta RM5.

"Bang, kita berniaga ni, kena la jujur. Biar untung sikit, janji pelanggan tak lari," kata saya sambil hulur nota RM5 kepada Brader tu.

Brader tu buat-buat tak dengar. Mujur muka saya tak ditembinya. Kalau tidak, jadi kes lain pula. hehehe

Apa pun, niat saya menulis posting ini adalah lantaran kecewa dengan kebanyakan peniaga kita. Terdapat sebilangan peniaga (khususnya Melayu yang mengaku Islam) yang tidak jujur dalam berniaga.

Berurus niaga dengan mencampur-adukkan barangan tiruan dengan yang asli, berhutang tapi tidak mahu membayarnya, menzalimi pekerja-pekerja asing yang bekerja dengannya, mengkhianati peniaga sebangsa dan seagama dan ah... banyak lagi.

Ayah saya berpengalaman mengusahakan perniagaan kerepek selama lebih kurang 20 tahun. Ayah saya hanya menamatkan pelajarannya sampai ke darjah 5 sekolah Melayu, tapi perniagaan beliau alhamdulillah masih kekal ke hari ini.

Malah, produk kerepek keluaran beliau dipasarkan sampai ke Kuala Terengganu,Kota Bharu, Pulau Pinang, Melaka dan Singapura. Baru-baru ini, kerepek ayah saya telah berjaya dipasarkan ke pasar raya Jusco dan 7-Eleven bandar-bandar utama di seluruh negara.

Meskipun kuantiti yang dijual tidaklah sebanyak mana -- (34 ribu bungkus -- sebuah pasar raya 7-eleven atau pasar raya besar hanya menjual lebih kurang 80 bungkus) -- tapi untuk seorang anak kampung yang tidak berpendidikan tinggi, saya cukup berbangga dengan usaha, pencapaian serta pengorbanan ayah saya itu.

Saya ceritakan hal ini bukan untuk riak mahupun takbur -- tapi sekedar mahu berkongsi rahsia kejayaan ayah saya dalam dunia perusahaan kecil (baca: perniagaan) -- JUJUR, SABAR, JAGA HATI PELANGGAN dan MINAT.

Ayah saya pernah menjual kelapa muda (yang diperoleh dari pembekal di Sabak Bernam) sehingga ke Melaka. Kebanyakan pelanggan ayah saya adalah Melayu. Dan kerana percayakan anak bangsanya, ayah saya meredhakan jika ada yang berhutang -- atas kepercayaan bahawa mereka akan membayar hutang itu.

Tahun demi tahun, hutang tak dibayar, dan ayah saya (melalui buku akaun tahun 1989 yang pernah ditunjukkan kepada saya sewaktu saya Tingkatan 3) memberitahu saya, jumlah hutang kelapa muda yang belum dibayar - semuanya oleh peniaga Melayu - sebanyak lebih kurang RM20 ribu!!!

Atas kerugian itulah ayah saya mengusahakan pula perniagaan kerepek.

Sementelah, saya memang sangat tersinggung bila mana ada peniaga anak bangsa kita yang menggunakan sihir untuk mengkhianati peniaga seagama yang lain.

Sudahlah berniaga tidak jujur -- guna ilmu hitam pula?

Aduhai manusia, ketamakkan dan tipu dayanya!



*** Berbalik kepada nasihat ustaz saya tadi, antara pesanan lainnya ialah, "Beli barang memang lah kita utamakan kedai atau bengkel Melayu... tapi kena jugak tengok kualiti dia. Kalau takdak kedai melayu yang baguih, baghu kita pi beli kedai Cina ka India ka. Bukan apa -- satgi pi beli barang tak elok -- hati jadi sakit, kereta pun sangkut-sangkut!" :)

Rabu, September 29, 2010

Quotable law quotes. :)

1. If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers. – Charles Dickens

2. The trouble with law is lawyers. - Clarence S. Darrow

3. When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken. - Benjamin Disraeli

4. A successful lawsuit is the one worn by a policeman. - Robert Frost

5. The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are alsolucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be. - Raymond Chandler

6. The magistrates are the ministers for the laws, the judges their interpreters, the rest of us are servants of the law, that we all may be free. - Marcus T. Cicero

7. In law, nothing is certain but the expense. – Samuel Butler

8. The wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting. - Ralph W. Emerson

Selasa, September 28, 2010

Kuala Lumpur dalam sejarah. :)














Sang Saka: Bendera kita atau bendera siapa? :)


Bendera Republik Indonesia.


Bendera Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM).


Bendera Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (Pekembar).


Bendera Parti Islam Se-Malaya(PAS).


Bendera Republik Singapura.

Bendera berkibar di angkasa: Satu kebetulan? :)


Bendera kuno Majapahit.


Bendera English East India Company (Sebelum Act of Union 1707).


Bendera British East India Company (Selepas Act of Union 1707) dan Bendera Persekutuan Amerika Syarikat (Sehingga 1777).


Bendera Persekutuan Amerika Syarikat.


Bendera Malaysia (Jalur Gemilang).

Bendera Asal Kita? :)


Pada tahun 1985, Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu di bawah protektorat British telah ditubuhkan (merangkumi empat kesultanan iaitu Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan dan pahang).

Pada 1905, sebuah bendera telah diperkenalkan: berjalur putih-merah-kuning-hitam (setiap warna mewakili setiap negeri); di bahagian tengahnya terdapat bentuk bujur telur/lonjong(oval) berwarna putih dengan imej seekor harimau sedang berlari.

Pada 1946, kesultanan yang lain juga menyertainya, dan Malayan Union telah cuba dibentuk, dan pada 1948, ia telah dinamakan semula sebagai Persekutuan tanah Melayu.

Isnin, September 27, 2010

Nasyid "Forgive Me" oleh Ahmed Bukhatir. Maafkan aku, TUHAN -- bilamana aku mengeluh! :(




Ini pula lagu "O God Forgive Me (When I Whine)" (maksud literal/harfiahnya lebih kurang begini, 'Oh TUHAN, ampunkanlah hamba-MU ini, bilamana selama ini aku mengeluh'). Saya mempunyai tabiat pelik -- sangat gemar mendengar lagu atau menonton klip video lagu-lagu yang saya suka beratus-ratus kali. Sampai infiniti.

Lebih-lebih lagi, lagu yang cukup 'dalam' seperti lagu "Forgive Me" ini. Liriknya indah. Suaranya lunak merdu. Melodinya menusuk penjuru kalbu. Selamat menghayati dan menginsafi kelebihan serta kekurangan diri. ALLAH 'Alim. :)



Oh TUHAN, ampunkanlah hamba-MU ini, bilamana selama ini aku mengeluh

Hari ini, tatkala menaiki sebuah bas
kulihat seorang gadis kecil berambut perang emas
aku berkata di dalam hati
alangkah bagus jika wajahku seindah paras rupanya
tiba-tiba
kulihat dia bersusah-payah untuk turun dari bas itu
rupa-rupanya, gadis kecil itu hanya mempunyai sebelah kaki,
dan dia memakai tongkat
namun, sewaktu gadis kecil itu berjalan melaluiku
dia tersenyum bahagia
Oh TUHAN, ampunkanlah hamba-MU ini, bilamana selama ini aku mengeluh
aku punya sepasang kaki -- betapa bertuahnya diriku

Aku berhenti untuk membeli manisan
penjual manisan itu mempunyai wajah yang indah
aku berbual dengannya, dan dia kelihatan sangat bahagia
aku berkata di dalam hati
alangkah bagus jika aku tampan dan bahagia sepertinya
sewaktu aku mahu meninggalkan kedainya, seraya dia berkata kepadaku --
“Terima kasih, Tuan seorang yang berhati mulia”
“Untuk pengetahuan Tuan,” katanya. “Saya cacat penglihatan”
Oh TUHAN, ampunkanlah hamba-MU ini, bilamana selama ini aku mengeluh
aku punya sepasang mata -- betapa bertuahnya diriku

Kulihat seorang anak kecil bermata biru
dia duduk sendirian -- melihat rakan-rakannya bermain
dia tak tahu apa yang perlu dilakukannya
aku pun berhenti sejenak, dan bertanya,
“Kenapa tak bermain bersama teman-temanmu?”
dia merenung kosong, tanpa mengungkap sebarang kata
dan kemudian baharulah kutahu -- dia tak mampu mendengar
Oh TUHAN, ampunkanlah hamba-MU ini, bilamana selama ini aku mengeluh
aku punya sepasang telinga -- betapa bertuahnya diriku

Dengan kaki untuk membawa ke mana kuingin pergi
dengan mata untuk melihat cahaya mentari senja
dengan telinga untuk mendengar apa yang aku ingin ketahui
Oh TUHAN, ampunkanlah maafkan hamba-MU ini, bilamana selama ini aku mengeluh
sungguh, hidupku dirahmati -- betapa bertuahnya diriku.

Nasyid "My Mother" لسوف أعود يا أمي oleh Ahmed Bukhatir. Agungnya kasih ibu!




Salam. :)

Klip video di atas adalah nyanyian Ahmed Bukhatir, antara penyanyi kegemaran saya (lagu "Last Breath" nyanyian beliau agak terkenal). Di bawah ini saya sertakan terjemahan lirik lagu "Ummi" nyanyian Ahmed Bukhatir. Selamat menghargai jasa Ibu kita semua! :)


Ibu

Aku akan kembali, wahai Ibu
dan mencium kening sucimu
dan menyalahkan hawa nafsuku
dan merasakan harumnya doa-doamu
mengotori pipiku dengan kesempurnaan kakimu
tatkala kubertemu denganmu
membanjiri tanah dengan air mataku
merasakan kebahagiaan karena engkau masih hidup

Berapa banyak malam yang kau terjaga hingga larut
agar aku dapat tidur dengan lelap?

Dan berapa kali engkau dahaga
hanya agar kau dapat menghilangkan dahagaku
dengan segala kelembutanmu?

Dan suatu hari tatkala aku sakit, aku tidak melupakannya…
air matamu mengalir deras seperti hujan
dan kedua matamu tetap dan tetap terjaga
karena khawatir jika aku mungkin dalam bahaya

Dan hari tatkala kita berpisah di subuh hari
dan oh… betapa kasarnya subuh kala itu

Tidak ada kata-kata yang dapat menjelaskan
apa yang aku rasakan,
tatkala aku meninggalkanmu…

Dan kau mengatakan sesuatu yang aku masih mengingatnya sepanjang hidupku -- “Kamu tidak akan pernah menemukan hati yang lebih lembut padamu daripada hatiku...”

“Kamu tidak akan pernah menemukan hati yang lebih lembut padamu daripada hatiku...”

Kepatuhan padamu…
oh itulah yang kuinginkan
dalam hidupku
seperti ketetapan ALLAH
yang diperintahkan kepadaku
untuk patuh restumu,
adalah rahsia kejayaanku

dan cintaku padamu adalah rahsia keyakinanku
dan doa-doa yang engkau panjatkan untukku
menghilangkan kegagalan
dan kesedihanku

Cintaku untukmu
tidak ada orang yang kucintai seperti itu
engkau adalah sandaran hatiku
dan engkau adalah cahaya penglihatanku
dan engkau adalah irama bibirku
masalah-masalahku lenyap ketika kulihat wajahmu
kepadamu aku akan kembali… wahai ibu..

Esok ku akan beristirahat dari perjalananku
dan usia kedua akan dimulai untukku
dan cabang-cabang akan berkembang penuh
dengan bunga wangi mengharum...

John Godfreys Saxe’s The Blind Men and the Elephant.





John Godfreys Saxe’s The Blind Men and the Elephant is a rather more literal translation of the original fable from the ‘Udana’ scripture. In this traditional story, a group of blind men are gathered to investigate the nature of an elephant, a beast which was previously unfamiliar to them.

Each alights on a different part of the animal and draws his own conclusions from it: in one version, the man who feels its side concludes that it is like a wall, a spear, a snake, a rope, a fan, and a tree.

Each blind man attempt, and ultimately fail, to describe an elephant to each other’s satisfaction. Each blind man is adamant that his own interpretation is ‘full and correct’. The blind men’s innocent attempts to describe the animal together create not an elephant, but what Saxe calls a “theologic war”.

As with the blind men and the elephant, jurists or school of thought tend to describe the word ‘law’ in different ways, depending on their observations. Generally, law means any order, rule, regulation in a form of a statute and cases. Laws can also come in an unwritten form such as customs, traditions, and religious practices. Even some customs and religious practices have crystalised into law since it is practiced by the bulk of a given society.

Law in the eyes of Austin is an impenetrable, solid body which cannot be struck down, much like a wall. Like the restrictive nature of walls, law through Austin’s eyes is a narrow minded view of the law as it is, giving it a scientific character.

At the top of this hypothetical wall comes Austin’s ‘signification of desire’; the significations are of two varieties: firstly there are requests in which the power to ‘inflict evil’ on the person who fails to fulfill the request is not present, and second a command in which the power to ‘inflict evil’ on the person who fails to fulfill the same exists.

Professor H.L.A. Hart tells us in his book, ‘The Concept of Law’, that the ‘spear point’ of a legal system is human behaviour. The same can be divided into two categories social habits and social rules. When members of a society follow a social habit, the members may not be aware of the habit nor may make a conscious effort to see that the habit is maintained. Meanwhile, the violation of a social rule would be regarded as a fault.

Further, for a social rule to exist some of the members must be aware of the same and must strive to see that it is followed as a standard by the group as a whole. Social rules have the words ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought’ associated with it. Hart says that there is no logically necessary connection between law and coercion or between law and morality.

Now, let us discuss on Ronald Dworkin’s concept of law. According to him, a proper judges’ function is seen by ‘Taking Rights Seriously’. Indeed, law’s empire might have as well been titled ‘Why Hart’s Concept of Law is wrong’. In his book, the greatest attention is given to the attack on conventionalism. He also disagrees with the pragmatism of the American realists. Finally, through this attack he comes out with his concept of law.

Thus, according to Dworkin, the soundest legal theory is that it must ‘fit’ and justify the settled law, fit with the past political decision and justifiably and morally sound.

Furthermore, Kelsen’s visualisation of the system of norms describes a shape in the form of a tree, with the ‘grundnorm’ at the base, and subsequent norms branching out from the ‘grundnorm’. As one moves away from the base of the tree, into the branches, the norms start getting more specific and less general. The branches will be concerned with how law, such as statute law, is created; then the sub-branches with administration of justice; and finally, you have the twig with a norm that decrees certain action in a specific case.

His legal theory, which is a very strict and scientifically understood type of legal positivism, is based on the idea of a ‘grundnorm’, a hypothetical norm on which all subsequent levels of a legal system such as constitutional law and “simple” law are based.

Besides that, John Michael Finnis makes two assertions: firstly, there are human goods that can be secured only through the institution of human law. Human goods are those things that are good for human existence. Secondly, that there are ‘requirements of practical reasonableness that only those institutions (i.e. of human law) can satisfy.’

These are ‘a set of basic methodological requirements which distinguish sound from unsound practical thinking and which provide criteria for distinguishing between acts that are reasonable, and acts that are unreasonable’. His idea of law is just a restatement of Natural law in fresh terms.

In some places, Finnis speaks of ‘human goods’. He regards these things as being basic to human flourishing: those matters without which the achievement by humans of their fullest potential is not possible.

Meanwhile, the Feminists feel that most of the interpretations of law are the results of ‘the male conception of law’. They prefer referring to law as a large rope. A rope consisting of different coloured stands. At some stage in history, one colour dominates, at other times another colour.

However, from early times, one thread runs through the entire cord; it is the belief that the law has been instrumental in women’s historical subordination. Hence, on the most significant matter, namely the fights against patriarchy, the feminist were united. For example, Liberal Feminism (also known as “mainstream feminism”) entails the equality of men and women through political and legal reform.

Bentham defines law as assemblage of signs, declarative of volition, conceived or adopted by sovereign in a state, concerning the conduct to be observed in a certain case by a certain persons or class of persons who in the case in question are or are supposed to be subject to his power.

Next, according to A.V. Dicey, law means everything that regulates the world and its people and beyond. Thus, his approach in interpreting law is the broad approach. He does not believe that the law should only be confined to matters relating to orders, statutes and cases.

He also believes that it should include laws and principle governing the movement of the planets, the rising and setting of the sun and everything else. In short, Dicey believes that everything and everyone is governed by a law, be it in written form, or simply written in the universe to take place.

In addition, Lord Radcliffe defines laws as ‘more than merely learning the law’. He believes that laws should also relate and include ethic, religion, history and principles. Law is more than a mere technique to be applied. It is the study of all things, and its application. For example, a practicing lawyer cannot practice law by merely utilizing that he has learnt in law school.

In fact, in dealing with his client, he must try his utmost best to use any psychological knowledge that he has, to get the client to talk and must also observes ethics and customs while dealing with his job. Thus, the study of law cannot simply mean applying all learnt in the class.

It is to be noted that John Godfreys Saxe’s blind men were not encumbered by their blindness, but by their certainty that they could see when they could not. Each of the men insisted that he alone was correct. Of course, there was no conclusion for not one had thoroughly examined the whole elephant.

How can anyone describe the whole until he has learned the total of the parts? This method encourages the “theologic wars” that inevitably lead to failure, where each individual asserts the rightness of his own perspective, leaving everyone in the wrong.

Therefore, the outcome of the story is that although each man’s interpretation of law is starkly different from the next man’s, none of them are wrong. In fact, it is the integration that accurately defines it. Due to the complex phenomenon of ‘law’, the word ‘law’ arguably should not be interpreted with simple definitions.

Even though the blind men (the jurists or the school of thought) were all bounded by a common goal (which was to understand the true meaning of law), they were divided on one ground alone, that was, their own subjectivity.

They all were right no doubt, but they lacked a more holistic view of the law. Each one was able to visualize the law in their own way, and hence brought out an understanding of this abstract concept- law.

In conclusion, we can assume that the ‘concept of law’ to be ‘the elephant’. Also, we can personify ‘the blind men’ as ‘different jurists or school of thought who try to define law in a similar fashion’ (as with the blind men and the elephant, the jurists or the school of thought tend to describe the word ‘law’ in different ways, depending on their observations).

Thus, the word ‘law’ suffers from the same predicament of the blind men attempting to describe an elephant.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

References:
  1. Anonymous, “Six Blind Men and The Elephant: Fable from Religious Literature”, available at http://www.elephanteria.com/library/blind_men. html, accessed on 20 February 2009
  2. Brian Bix, Jurisprudence: Theory and Context (Sweet and Maxwell London 3rd 2003)
  3. David Schmaltz, The Blind Men and the Elephant Mastering Project Work. (Berrett Koehler Publishers 2003)
  4. Hilaire Barnett, Introduction to Feminist Jurisprudence (Cavendish Publishing Limited London 1998)
  5. JG Riddall, Jurisprudence (Butterworths London 2nd 1999)
  6. Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, Introduction to Jurisprudence (Stevens & Sons London 3rd 1972)
  7. Nicholas Johnson, “Six Blind Men (India Fable)”, available at http://www.uiowa.edu/~cyberlaw/csl03/blindmen.html, accesed on 22 February 2009
  8. Prof. Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi’s Lecture Note on Jurisprudence
  9. Prof. Hari Chand, Modern Jurisprudence (International Law Book Services Petaling Jaya, 2005).

Hart's Primary and Secondary Rules.






Among the many ideas developed in H.L.A. Hart’s famous and enduring work, ‘The Concept of Law’ is ‘the distinction between primary and secondary legal rules, where a primary rule governs conduct and a secondary rule allows of the creation, alteration, or extinction of primary rules’. The primary rules are obligation which imposes duties, and giving liberties to individuals (apply directly to the citizens). They represent standard modes of behaviour that obligate the members of society to perform or abstain from certain types of actions. These rules restrict violence, theft and deception.

Meanwhile, secondary rules are “rules about rules”; they regulate how other rules are made, changed, applied and enforced. They establish official machinery for the recognition and enforcement of primary rules. Hart illustrates the need for secondary rules in a complex legal system by imagining a society run only with primary rules. He calls these ‘primitive legal systems’ and thinks they constitute a borderline legal system. Also, according to his theory, there are several types of secondary rules such as “rule/rules of recognition”, “rules of change”, “rules of adjudication”, and “rules of sanction”.

The “rule/rules of recognition” can counter the ‘uncertainty’ of traditional law (these rules delineate what is and what is not a legal rule). Law is only valid once it goes through “rule/rules of recognition”. For example, in Malaysia, the law will become valid when it goes through the first reading until the executive signing). In Cuba, the law will get validity after pronouncement from the dictator that recognized the law.

The “rules of change” specify how legal rules can be amended or repealed. They keep society dynamic and counter the ‘static nature’ of the traditional law. For example, in Malaysia, Article 159 of the Federal Constitution contains power of simple majority to amend ordinary law and two-third majority to change constitution. The system must have some mechanism or method to complement all these changes.

In addition, developed legal systems have “rules of adjudication” to counter the ‘inefficiency’ in the traditional law (these rules say how disputes are resolved and legal rules enforced). Hart thinks that the system of sanctions is needed to ensure human obey the law. The “rules of sanction” impose punishment on wrongdoers to ensure non-repetition of the crime.

By way of criticism, it must be noted that many jurists (among them Fuller and Lloyd) have hammered home the point that the strict division of rules into primary and secondary cannot be maintained. The same rule, such as the rule of judicial precedent, may create a power plus a duty. Lloyd argues that Hart ignored the institutional framework within which rules operate. Hart’s reply is that a rule-based theory of law encompasses institutions. Hart is not entirely correct. Many important institutions like the cabinet in United Kingdom (UK) and the Public Complaints Bureau in Malaysia exist extra-legally.

In contrast with Hart’s theory, Webber provides an institutional view of the continuity of law as opposed to Hart’s internal point of view. Hart downplayed the role of force and sanction in legal system by replacing the imperative theory with his idea of the internal point of view. The idea that rules work not because of sanctions (and the attendant element of fear) but because of “acceptance” of these rules by citizens and officials opens up vast new vistas of ethics, sociology, psychology and anthropology in order to explore “why” and “why not” citizens and officials show fidelity to the rules of the system. Sadly, Hart did not venture into these areas to any appreciable extent.

Fitzgerald says that the significance of secondary rules has been exaggerated by Hart. The secondary rules may be altered without creating an entirely new legal system such as the passage of the Parliament Act 1911 in the UK and the 1984 amendment to Article 66 of Federal Constitution in Malaysia to redefine the concept of Parliament. It should be noted that, in ‘The Concept of Law’, H.L.A Hart does not demonstrate what his notion of a primitive or pre-legal system actually looks like, or how it functions. Hart’s theory of law as the union of primary and secondary rules can be useful as a means of analysis, but his notion of the primitive system is perhaps fatally flawed and may be superfluous.

Hart’s “rule/rules of recognition” is definitely not free from criticism. Subsequently, Joseph Raz, John Finnis, Neil MacCormick, Jules Coleman, Jeremy Waldron, John Gardner and many others did have their own view in identifying what is the law in the classical tradition than other analytical philosophers did before Hart. Joseph Raz argues whether the “rule/rules of recognition” is best understood as a duty-imposing or power-conferring rule; and whether there can be more than one “rule/rules of recognition” within a given legal system. Meanwhile, John Finnis criticise that Hart leaves insufficiently specified the sort of attitude towards the “rule/rules of recognition” that the officials have. Finnis tried to establish a complex variant of natural law in that the central set of elements constituting an official’s acceptance of a “rule/rules of recognition” is a moral acceptance of the rule. In this way, Finnis claims to have found a conceptual, logical link between validity and morality.

Neil MacCormick shows that it is possible to incorporate non-rule standards into positivism. In fact, he finds an element of circularity in Hart’s “rules of recognition”. The “rules of recognition” pre-supposed judges. Existence of judges pre-supposes a “rule of adjudication” (which is valid only in accordance with the “rules of recognition”). In the Malaysian case of Sagong b. Tasi v The Selangor State Government [2002] 2 MLJ 591, the court applied Australian Law on native Title in its decision without “rules of recognition” of that law. Besides, Hart says that in order for something to become a rule you need both the external and internal aspect (the critical reflective attitude). McCormick claims that this is not enough because the “critical reflective attitude” is a very subjective thing which differs from one person to another. He also beliefs that there are other factors to following laws, i.e. one’s understanding of it.

Ronald Dworkin suggests that Hart’s philosophy cannot accommodate principles, and as a result, are driven to rely on the notion of discretion. Dworkin also suggests that judges do not make law. However, to Hart (in his open texture theory), judges have discretion and that they sometimes engaged in law judicial making which is evince in a number of cases like Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] AC 562. On Hart’s separation of law and morals, Dworkin claims that judges in applying the law will also look at non standards i.e. morals values and principles of equity. Hart provides no guidelines on judicial behaviour in the penumbra. Dworkin’s prescriptions of ‘Hercules’ helps us to adopt a “constructive, morally charged” view of the law. Hart gave no such guidelines because his exercise in “descriptive sociology” was an exercise in descriptions, not prescriptions. Also, Dworkin argues that rules are not enough. There is law beyond rules; that principles, doctrines and standards are vital parts of the law and influence judicial decisions in hard cases.

Hart did not develop sociology of law or a significantly broadened conception of law. He merely modernized and refined conceptions of jurisprudence inherited from Bentham and Austin. English theory under him did not really integrate with social theory. Jurisprudence in his hands remained largely expository, analytical, apolitical and uncritical. This can be contrasted with Dworkin’s approach that in interpreting the law, moral colours ought to be added to the canvas.

Hart’s fidelity to positivism showed up in his insistence on a formal criterion of validity (the “rule/rules of recognition”). He refers his ignorance to answer any question about the justification of the application of the coercive powers of the state. He rejected the proposition that ideas of morality have a role to play in identifying rules of law. Hart maintains that the Nazi-type legal system (undeniably of moral wickedness), was law since the various features it shares with other modern municipal legal system are too great for a universal-descriptive legal theory to ignore. The system’s “rule or rules of recognition” supply the authoritative and amoral test of validity. Hart’s methodology concerned himself with legal facts and not moral values, with descriptions and not prescriptions, with what is and not what ought to be. Thus, Hart says that there is no logically necessary connection ‘between law and coercion’ or ‘between law and morality’.

Nowadays, in our society, there are numerous loopholes in our legal system that the wrongdoers can always escape their liabilities. For example, the ‘pirated CDs and VCDs’ problem. But, currently, there are no sufficient legislations to prohibit the illegal activities effectively, and if we try to rely on principles, we will discover another problem of principles. They are not concrete or accurate enough for the judges to make an absolute decision. Moreover, the society keeps moving every day and the development of science and technology is fast beyond imagination. Therefore, rules can hardly keep up-to-date with everything new and principles or moral standards may not be applicable any more.

Hart’s theory was general in that it was not tied to any particular legal system or legal culture, but sought to give an explanatory and clarifying account of law as a complex, social and political institution driven by a rich variety of rules. His description of a legal system in terms of a union of primary and secondary rules provides a tool of analysis for much that has puzzled both jurist and political theorist even today. He has created the idea of law as a set of rules instituting law as we know and it is today, and above all its criteria of recognising valid law through the “rule/rules of recognition”.

Also, it should be noted that, there are arguments supporting the accuracy of Hart’s view and some others thought otherwise. At the end of the day, it cannot be denied that Hart’s concepts of union of primary and secondary rules have been thought provoking. No one else has offered a substitute which, with equal brevity, sets out the crucial features of legal systems as Hart did. It may be that, there are too complicated to be capable of interpretation in terms of a few concepts without serious distortion. Perhaps, they are not the sort of entity of which any model can be accurate one.

In conclusion, as regard with Hart’s theory, it is agreed that there are loopholes in our legal system, but the idea of judicial discretion is not really accurate. Legislation should not be the job for the judges as we know that separation of powers is an essential element of the rule of law. Thus, Hart’s theory is arguably cannot be considered accurate, because it has its own strong and weak points.

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Bibliography
  1. H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (Oxford University Press New York 2nd 1997);
  2. JG Riddall, Jurisprudence (Butterworths London 2nd 1999);
  3. L.B. Curzon, Q & A Series: Jurisprudence (Cavendish Publishing Limited London 3rd 2001);
  4. Mamari Stephens, “Maori Law and hart: A Brief Analysis”, available at www.upf.pf/IRIDIP/RJP/RJP7/18Stephens.doc, accessed on 23 February 2009;
  5. Mohammad Iftekhar Bin Salam, “Battle against HLA Hart, available at www.thedailystar.net/law/2006/05/04/opinion.htm, accessed on 23 February 2009;
  6. Norchaya Talib, Law of Torts in Malaysia (Sweet & Maxwell Asia 2nd 2003);
  7. Prof. Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi’s Lecture Note on Jurisprudence;
  8. Prof. Hari Chand, Modern Jurisprudence (International Law Book Services Petaling Jaya 2005);
  9. Rowel Genn, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory (HLT Publications 1990);
  10. Wayne Morrison, Jurisprudence: From the Greeks to Post-Modernism (Cavendish Publishing Limited London 1997).

Jurgen Habermas: The Outspoken Public Intellectual






The most important intellectual in the Federal Republic of Germany for the past three decades, Jurgen Habermas has been a seminal contributor to fields ranging from sociology and political science to philosophy and cultural studies. Although he has stood at the centre of concern in his native land, he has been less readily accepted outside Germany, particularly in the humanities.

His theoretical work postulates the centrality of communication and understanding, and as such his strategy of debate is marked by a politically informed unity of theory and practice.

Habermas is famous as an outspoken, public intellectual. Most notably, in the 1980s, he used the popular press to attack historians Ernst Nolte and Andreas Hillgruber, who, arguably, had tried to demarcate Nazi rule and the Holocaust from the mainstream of German history, explaining away Nazism as a reaction to Bolshevism, and partially rehabilitating the reputation of the “Wehrmacht” (German Army) during World War II.

This so-called “Historikerstreit” (Historians’ Quarrel) was not at all one-sided, because Habermas was himself attacked by scholars including Joachim Fest and Klaus Hildebrand. Habermas has continued to be outspoken, as in his opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Jurgen Habermas wrote extensively on the concept of the “public sphere”, using accounts of dialogue that took place in coffee houses in 18th century England. He distinguished between looking at the public sphere as a concept and as a historical formation.

In his view, the idea of the public sphere involved the notion that private entities would draw together as a public entity and engage in rational deliberation, ultimately making decisions that would influence the state. As a historical formation, the public sphere involved a “space” separated from family life, the business world, and the state.

Habermas argued that it was this public sphere of rational debate on matters of political importance, made possible by the development of the bourgeois culture centered around coffeehouses, intellectual and literary salons, and the print media that helped to make parliamentary democracy possible, and which promoted Enlightenment ideals of equality, human rights, and justice.

The public sphere was guided by a norm of rational argumentation and critical discussion, in which the strength of one’s argument was more important than one’s identity.

Habermas described this sphere in terms of both the actual infrastructure that supported it, and the norms and practices that helped the critical political discourse flourish. He distinguished between looking at the public sphere as a concept and as a historical formation.

In his view, the idea of the public sphere involved the notion that private entities would draw together as a public entity and engage in rational deliberation, ultimately making decisions that would influence the state. As a historical formation, the public sphere involved a “space” separated from family life, the business world, and the state.

According to Habermas, a variety of factors resulted in the eventual decay of the bourgeois public sphere of the Enlightenment. Most importantly, structural forces, particularly the growth of a commercial mass media, resulted in a situation in which the media became more of a commodity - something to be consumed - rather than a tool for public discourse.

In his magnum opus, “Theory of Communicative Action” (1985), he criticized the one-sided process of modernization led by forces of economic and administrative rationalization. Habermas traced the growing intervention of formal systems in our everyday lives as parallel to development of the welfare state, corporate capitalism, and the culture of mass consumption. These reinforcing trends rationalize widening areas of public life, submitting them to generalizing logic of efficiency and control.

As routinized political parties and interest groups substitute for participatory democracy, society is increasingly administered at a level remote from the input of its citizens. As a result, boundaries between public and private, the individual and society, the system and the life-world deteriorate.

Democratic public life only thrives where institutions enable citizens to debate matters of public importance. He described the “ideal speech situation,” where actors are equally endowed with the capacities of discourse, recognize each other’s basic social equality, and in which their speech is completely undistorted by ideology or misrecognition. Habermas promotes the human ability for “communicative action”:

“Communicative action can be understood as a circular process in which the actor is two things in one: an initiator, who masters situations through actions for which he is accountable, and a product of the transitions surrounding him, of groups whose cohesion is based on solidarity to which he belongs, and of processes of socialization in which he is reared.”

Habermas, however, remained optimistic about the possibility of the revival of the public sphere. He sees hope for the future in the new era of political community that transcends the national state, based on ethnic and cultural likeness, into one based on the equal rights and obligations of legally vested citizens.

This discoursive theory of democracy requires a political community which can collectively define its political will and implement it as policy at the level of the legislative system. This political system requires an activist public sphere, where matters of common interest and political issues can be discussed, and the force of public opinion can influence the decision-making process.

Criticisms of Habermas’ notion regarding the public sphere have been expressed by several noted academics. John Thompson, sociology professor at the University of Cambridge, pointed out that Habermas’ notion of the public sphere is antiquated due to the proliferation of mass media communications.

Michael Schudson, from the University of California in San Diego, argued more generally that a public sphere as a place of purely rational independent debate never existed.

In “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere”, Habermas showed how modern European salons, cafes, and literary groups contain the resources for democratizing the public sphere. In his 1965 inaugural lecture at Frankfurt University, “Erkenntnis und Interesse” (1965; Knowledge and Human Interests), and in the book of the same title published three years later, Habermas set forth the foundations of a normative version of critical social theory, the Marxist social theory developed by Horkheimer, Adorno, and other members of the Frankfurt Institute from the 1920s onward.

He did this on the basis of a general theory of human interests, according to which different areas of human knowledge and inquiry – such as the physical, biological, and social sciences - are expressions of distinct, but equally basic, human interests.

Habermas was criticized by both the postmodern left and the neo-conservative right for his trust in the power of rational discussion to resolve major domestic and international conflicts. While some critics found his normative critical theory - as applied to areas such as education, morality, and law - to be dangerously Eurocentric, others decried its utopian, radically democratic, or left-liberal character.

He was criticized by Marxists and by feminist and race theorists for abandoning socialism or for allegedly giving up on vigorous criticism of social injustice and oppression.

For some representatives of anti-globalization social movements, even Habermas’s left-leaning political liberalism and deliberative democratic reformism were inadequate to address the cultural, political, and economic distortions evident in existing democratic institutions.

Habermas responded to critics at both ends of the political spectrum by developing a more robust communicative theory of democracy, law, and constitutions in “Faktizität und Geltung” (1992; Between Facts and Norms), “Die Einbeziehung des Anderen” (1996; The Inclusion of the Other), and “Die postnationale Konstellation” (1998; The Post-national Constitution). In “Zeit der Ubergänge” (2001; Time of Transitions), he offered global democratic alternatives to wars that employ terrorism as well as to the “war on terrorism.”

Shortly after the publication of Habermas’ ‘theory of communicative action’, a debate on postmodernism emerged in western social theory. The debate was instigated by Derrida, Baudrillard and Lyotard on the tradition of the modern and calls for breaks within this tradition.

For Lyotard, Habermas’ project of modernity has become obsolete and society had entered the ‘postmodern condition’. Lyotard claims modernity could not think itself or get hold of itself intellectually, without distancing itself historically from its own achieved implementations.

For Lyotard: ‘My argument is that the modern project [of realising universality] has not been abandoned or forgotten but destroyed, liquidated’. Further, Lyotard is scathing in his critique of how Habermas will:

‘… use the term ‘modern’ to designate any science that legitimates itself with reference to a metadiscourse making an explicit appeal to some grand narrative, such as the dialectics of the Spirit, the hermeneutics of meaning, the emancipation of the rational’.

The very concept of ‘postmodernism’ is defined by Lyotard as ‘incredulous towards metanarratives’ and asks ‘where after the metanarratives can legitimacy reside’. For Lyotard, what Habermas is offering is one more metanarrative of ‘communicative action’ which is, once again a generalist and abstract narrative of emancipation, now hopelessly outdated, he believes.

Lyotard is against all the language games of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Lyotard calls for an ‘irreducible plurality’ of language games each with its own ‘local’ rules, legitimations and practices.

Postmodernism offers to move beyond Habermas’ modernist narratives and has rapidly gained currency throughout social and human science disciplines into the 21st century. There are several themes that are shared in postmodern analysis, which consolidate Lyotard’s interpretation.

First, there is distrust in the concept of absolute and objective truth. ‘Truth’ is viewed as contextual, situational, and conditional. Second, emphasis is placed on fragmentation rather than universalism, again pushing away from the general and toward the particular. Third, local power is preferred over the centralized power of the nation state, and de centralization, or the process of democratization of power, is a pervasive theme of postmodern narratives. Fourth, reality is simulated but is otherwise not held to be a very meaningful concept; reality conceived as a general and universal truth is profoundly doubted. Fifth, we are seeing the rise and consolidation of consumer culture that tends to put ‘power’ in the hands of the consumers, but can also equally manipulate consumers through marketing ploys and interpolating discourses of consumer freedom by dictating costs in global marketplace. Finally, diversity and difference is emphasized and valued above commonality based on homogeneity.

Postmodern analysis of culture is no longer a fringe perspective inasmuch as it apparently promotes strategies of individualism and diversity and postmodernism is critical of strategies that devalue individuals because of any characteristic that would control access to knowledge, and could thereby assault identity. In ethics, as in epistemology, the final result is a kind of relativism.

The wide reception of postmodernist themes has infuriated as many scholars as it has intoxicated. It is no surprise to see Habermas’ reaction in particular as very antagonistic to postmodernism. For him, individuals face a fundamental strategic choice posed in stark terms: ‘hold fast to the intentions of the Enlightenment or give up the project of modernity as lost’.

Habermas defends the ‘project of modernity’ from the theoretical schisms of Lyotardian postmodernism which, in Habermas’ view, has failed to recognize:
‘a modernity at variance with itself of its rational content and its perspective on the future’.

Habermas in ‘Philosophical Discourses of Modernity’ recognised that theories of postmodernism had their roots in irrational precursory influences such as Heidegger and Nietzsche. Habermas contends that modernity ‘rebels’ against tradition and has valorised highly charged aesthetic experiences of novelty, dynamism, singularity and intense presence.

With increased innovation in technology and science, modernity has itself eroded any strong sense of foundationalism and ontological security for both society and the self.

Further, Habermas claims that the project of modernity was ‘unfinished’ and contained unrealised capacity for emancipatory potential. Such potential draws on the specialization of culture for the enrichment of daily life and simultaneously the rational organisation of everyday life and experience. The two need not be opposed.

The project of modernity has undiminished potential to increase social rationality, justice and morality. But this potential can be realised only by cognitive progression and support for the moral boundaries of rationality, which remains the task of philosophy and social theory.

It is crucial to note that the central tenets of the ‘project of modernity’ including rationality and progress for which Habermas attempts to formalise as practical achievements, should be put into a dark context. As the predecessors at Frankfurt school in 1949 saw, Adorno and Horkheimer and Zygmunt Bauman powerfully narrates, the Holocaust provides a devastating critique of enlightenment legacy and thought and highlights the slipping into a barbarism of Nietzchean nightmares.

For example, on one level, Hitler’s regime in Germany merely refined and perfected 19th century techniques of social discipline.

But, on yet another level, Hitler’s regime was a deliberate throwback to an archaic ‘society of blood’, a society of savagery and a society with a lust for domination, control and power; a society which raises further questions to the enlightenment project. Coupled with this, there have been periodic episodes of inhumanity which have ranged from genocide in Rwanda in the 1970s onwards, mass genocide and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in former states of Yugoslavia in Kosova in 1999 as one stark example.

The most spectacular recent example was the terrorist attacks on ‘twin towers’ in New York and subsequent ‘war’ in Afghanistan. It is very difficult to implement Habermas’ universalized narratives of communicative action, with so many differences between states, cultures and ideologies.

It seems it is very difficult to provide a modern solution to a postmodern problem: for example, diversity of fundamentalist beliefs and consequent actions (postmodern), communicative action is very brittle in overcoming instabilities of such beliefs (Habermas’ modernism).

From Habermas’ point of view, the defence of the enlightenment is nonetheless qualified. He castigates in sweeping terms the ‘young conservatives’ whom he accuses of setting up ‘false programs of the negation of culture’ which fail to realise any positive contribution to the project of modernity. But he remains fully aware of the precarious condition of the enlightenment heritage in the contemporary world.

In conclusion, Habermas’ work is a concern with rethinking the tradition of critical theory and German social philosophy. Rationality, freedom and justice are not just theoretical issues to be explored and debated, but for Habermas, they are practical tasks that demand commitment and achievement. Habermas’ entire work seems to defend and continue the enlightenment project against the challenge of postmodernism (Lyotard).



Bibliography

David Held Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas (Berkeley University of California Press 1980)

David R. Rasmussen, Reading Habermas (Cambridge MA Basil Blackwell 1990)

Douglas Kellner, Critical Theory and the Crisis of Social Theory from Illuminations, accessed on 29 September 2009, available at http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell.htm

Douglas Kellner, Media Culture: Cultural studies, identity and politics between the modern and the postmodern (London and New York Routledge 1995)

Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, Introduction to Jurisprudence (Stevens & Sons London 1972)

J.M. Bernstein, Recovering Ethical Life: Jürgen Habermas and the Future of Critical

Theory (New York Routledge 1995)James Farganis, Readings in Social Theory: The

Classic Tradition to Post-Modernism (New York McGraw-Hill 1996)

Jane Braaten, Habermas’s Critical Theory of Society (Albany State University of New York Press 1991)

J.G. Riddall, Jurisprudence (Butterworths London 1999)

Jurgen Habermas, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (Cambridge Massachusetts MIT Press 1991)

Peter Mandaville, Global Political Islam (Routledge New York 2007)

Prof. Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi’s Lecture Note on Jurisprudence
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